• Paul Fingleton

Only a third of Irish employees cold work from home during Storm Emma, survey says

Impact of Storm Emma could cost Irish businesses millions as vast majority of workplaces have been closed due to Status Red snow and ice weather warning

Severe weather conditions have forced the closure of many Irish businesses as Status Red and Orange snow and ice warnings have been issued across the State. The resultant impact could end up costing Irish companies millions, as many fail to embrace the technology capable of empowering remote working.

A recent survey from Ricoh Ireland found that almost two-thirds (63%) of Irish workers don’t have the authorisation or remote access tools needed to work effectively from home. With extremely low temperatures and blizzard conditions caused by Storm Emma, many employees have either been unable to complete their daily work, or have seen their productivity greatly impacted by a lack of mobile work-style supports.

Gary Hopwood, Managing Director at Ricoh Ireland, commented: “Between the severe conditions that engulfed the country this week and Storm Ophelia late last year, Ireland has experienced two Status Red nationwide weather warnings in recent times. Events such as these impact the entire workforce and can cause a huge amount of disruption to unprepared businesses, in terms of both time and money. Ensuring the safety of the workforce is paramount, however it is essential that employees can stay safe at home whilst having the capacity to work productively. That is where remote working technology comes in.


"Adopting remote workstyles benefits business continuity, increases productivity and helps to attract talent"

- Ricoh Ireland survey


“At Ricoh Ireland, we have implemented our own business continuity plan which enables all Ricoh employees to work effectively and efficiently from home. We recognise the value of mobile working during times like these, not only in terms of upholding business continuity and delivering a high standard of customer service, but also enabling employees to innovate and collaborate from remote locations. In other words, supporting mobile workstyles is advantageous for the individuals but also the organisation and, perhaps most importantly, its customers.

In addition to the impact on a company’s bottom line caused by office closures, the study found that Irish businesses are missing out on a further range of benefits by failing to empower mobile working. Respondents cited the main benefits of remote workstyles as greater flexibility (79%), the ability to attract and retain the best talent (37%), and improved customer service (36%).

The research, which was carried out in association with TechPro magazine in November 2017, surveyed 175 IT professionals from private and public sector organisations across Ireland.